If there’s a near-universal truth for Big Brother contestants, it’s that they’re often ugly people regardless of their external characteristics. Man, woman, straight, gay–they can be full of bile. Perhaps this is the way many human beings are, and having cameras on people 24/7 just reveals it to the world. Maybe the house that does this to otherwise nice people, the constant pressure and isolation causing them to go places they didn’t even know they had inside them. Or maybe casting director Robyn Kass just looks for bigoted sociopaths.
Whatever the case may be, the series has a long history of ugliness, and Big Brother 9‘s houseguests are doing their part to add to that list. Most of the media attention so far has focused on Adam’s comments about autistic kids, probably because those aired on TV. But the things the houseguests say that don’t make to to TV, or are bleeped out, are far worse.
Recently, James used the n-word, casually using it to apparently refer to a white houseguest in a friendly way (not that the word is neutral). That’s not the first racially infused comment someone has made; earlier, Ryan insisted he wasn’t a racist even though he disagrees with interracial relationships, whatever that means.
At another point, Adam used a homophobic slur directed at Joshuah, who was not present. Adam called Josh the f-word and said he should “go back to the gay bar.”
Josh, however, has proven to be just vicious, earlier telling Amanda to hang herself like her dad did, recently called Allison the c-word and more during a fight, and he may or may not have threatened her, prompting Allison to threaten to quit.
These are just recent, more egregious examples which exclude the day-to-day insults and put-downs that are often delivered with language that will never be broadcast. And there may be worse examples that the feed watchers have chronicled or will continue to spot, posting video to YouTube. But this is enough for me right now; I don’t really need to go digging for more, although the world needs to know what’s really happening.
But that won’t happen, at least not on TV. When asked about Adam’s most recent slur, a CBS spokesperson told the Philadelphia Daily News, “We find the language used by Adam Jasinski on the live Internet feed to be offensive and it will not be part of any future broadcast on the CBS Television Network.”
While broadcasting that kind of language and perpetuating its usage isn’t exactly preferable, the producers and network are basically just ignoring it, saying they care but allowing it to continue, as they did all last season, even cancelling media interviews to keep it from being addressed. And that may be the most disturbing part of all.